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Oceana rejects accusations of freezing the trawling footprint. (Photo: Oceana)

Oceana rejects Asipes accusations about bottom trawling footprint freezing

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 00:10 (GMT + 9)

Through a press release, marine conservation organization Oceana responded to the questions made by Asipes, stating that the trawling footprint freezing decreed by the Subsecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Subpesca, would not be effective

"The statements made by Asipes lack a rationale. The measure adopted by the Subpesca complies with all the legal statutes and is based on scientific studies of high standards," said Liesbeth van der Meer, executive director of Oceana Chile, adding that "the footprint freezing implies only that the trawlers limit their operations to the areas where they have operated for 16 years, and it only prevents them from expanding and destroying new areas."

We must recall that, last December, Subpesca and Oceana made the measure public. On the occasion, the NGO showed that each year trawling was expanding to new areas, increasing by 554 km², equivalent to the size of the communes of Pirque and Puente Alto.

With the data on the table it was decided to act, said Liesbeth van der Meer: "We proposed to freeze the trawl footprint and Subpesca analyzed the data of the historical routes used by trawlers in the last 16 years, thus determining the area in which they could continue to operate."

For the same reason, Oceana insists that the accusations made by the Asipes have no basis. "This measure is supported by studies conducted by Subpesca and socialized among the various actors over the past four years, however, bottom trawling wants to continue to expand and wipe out new and pristine ecosystems because the measure as such does not affect the jobs or their economic activity", it was explained from the NGO, stating that "the purpose is to advance in the protection of vulnerable areas, without affecting the current fishing activity or jobs."
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